Aspiring research analysts are encouraged to study management science at the undergraduate and graduate level. Management science is a quantitative discipline that applies scientific and mathematical methods to maximize an organization's profit with a minimum amount of risk. Management science is also called operations research, and research analysts are often referred to as operations research analysts. Bachelor's students can specialize in finance, operations research, information technology and marketing science. Master's program specializations include health care, operations and manufacturing management, geographic information systems, and statistics. Master's students also must submit a research project.
Prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent for a bachelor's degree. A master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree including at least 2 years of calculus, proficiency in computer language, a statement of purpose, a resume, and GRE or GMAT scores.
Bachelor of Science in Management Science
A management science undergraduate degree emphasizes problem solving, critical thinking and reasoning. This program takes about four years to complete. The program draws from a number of quantitative business disciplines. Other courses emphasize mathematical modeling, computer technology and statistics. Some typical courses include:
- Microeconomics and macroeconomics
- Management science optimization methods
- Managerial psychology
- Data analysis
- Financial accounting
- Finance theory
Master of Science in Management Science (M.S.)
The Master of Science in Management Science curriculum borrows from several disciplines, including business, mathematics, information systems and programming. Some M.S. programs may allow students to choose an area of concentration. This program can be completed within two years. Coursework builds on areas of information science, business and mathematics.
- Mathematical programming and statistics
- Methods of management science in business
- Analysis and design of information systems
- Experimental design
- Transportation geography
- Statistical inference theory
Job Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections from 2014 through 2024, operations research analyst positions are expected to increase by about 30%. This projected growth is much faster than the national average for all other occupations in the United States. Demand for research analysts will persist as long as businesses and corporations seek out new ways to streamline their operations and increase their bottom line. The BLS reports that the annual median salary for operations research analysts in May 2015 was $78,630.
Continuing Education Information
Students can continue their graduate studies and pursue a Ph.D. in Management Science. The Ph.D. program prepares graduates to work in senior research analyst positions with consulting firms and corporations. Many Ph.D. graduates work as professors at major colleges and universities.
Those hoping to pursue a career as a research analyst can complete a bachelor's or master's degree program in management science. These programs consist of teaching students problem solving and reasoning skills combined with business, mathematics, and information systems courses.